Sunday, May 31, 2009

Still Another One

This one is dedicated to GP.

When why's what you need know,
And you speak españo',
That's a "¿por qué?"

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Not Bilingual, Exactly

The new(-ish) waterless urinals in one of our buildings have information sheets posted on the wall at reading level. The sheet explains how these are waterless and odorless, so whatever it is you smell isn't pee.

The flyer is in English, except for one paragraph that is printed in two languages. The paragraph in question is the one with cleaning instructions. This sort of invokes some stereotypes, I think.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Foto Phriday

My niece (on the right) and her cousin on vacation at the beach.


Had some trouble with the comment functionality. It should be fixed.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Power Sniffer

Our destination for our day trip on Sunday was a scenic railroad trip through a national park about two hours away. The train left from a station in a small town whose claim to fame appears to be based on

  1. a train
  2. two bars
  3. multiple arts and crafts stores.
There is also a river running through the town. As we passed over the river on the bridge that was probably 25 feet up, Son announced, "I smell turtles."

I thought I misheard, so I asked, "Did you say you smelled turtles?"

Son looked sort of pouty and defensive. "They have a very distinctive smell."

Well, bonus points for vocabulary, and I'll just have to take your word for it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I hereby dub civil unions and domestic partnerships "Bruce Crow" laws.

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Yesterday was the last day of the mentoring program our company sponsored this year. Our last project was to create album covers for each other that would remind us of the school year. My mentee apparently thinks I look somewhat like Will Ferrell.

Best of luck to you, young Mr. S.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Does the Prop 8 Decision Mean to Me?

Today, the Supreme Court of California decided the court challenge to Proposition 8 from November. Proposition 8 was an amendment to the California constitution that defined marriage to be between one man and one woman. The passage of Prop 8 by a fairly narrow margin stopped same-sex marriages in California, which had been legal for several months before that time. The court case challenged whether the proposition was an amendment to the constitution or a revision of the constitution. The requirements for a revision are much stricter.

The decision was that the amendment would stand, so no more same-sex marriages will occur in California until the constitution is amended again to allow them. California is, evidently, one of those states whose constitution can be amended very quickly and easily. The voters may amend it again soon. The marriages that took place in California while marriage was allowed will still be valid.

It may seem like the court is ruling against same-sex marriage, but remember that this is the same court that voted to allow it in the first place. This ruling is more about the process of amending the state constitution. It is still very disappointing, and I will be supporting efforts to amend the state constitution again both in California and in my own Midwest State.

Will I be visiting sunny California any time soon? Maybe, but not to get married. I've always wanted to see Boston.

IMs of the Rich and Famous

JB: I'll update the Google Calendar event in a few minutes.

me: Coo.

JB: Speaking pidgeon?

me: L before period, except after O
Or when the sky's gray, or when covered in dough.


me: Double Fanucci

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day Trippin'

Went on day trip. Pics later.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weird Dreams Again

I dreamed that we were going to a party being thrown by a young twink. When we got there, a swarm of wasps stung me, and the host had to call the paramedics. I missed the whole party.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Foto Phriday - Not Worth the Paper on Which it Is Written

Son and I took some dryer lint, mixed it up in a bowl with water, and tried to make some paper. It seems that paper making is harder than that.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chili Recipe - As Promised

  • 1 or 2 (depends on the day) cans of kidney or red beans. Cook's choice whether they're spiced. Combinations are OK.
  • 1 package of ground turkey
  • 1 or 2 small cans of mushrooms (salted or unsalted - depends on the day)
  • 1 onion (or not) - diced
  • 1 or 2 cans of tomato sauce
  • Oregano (fresh or ground/dried)
  • Garlic (minced or powder)
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Small TV and basic cable or satellite TV hookup in the kitchen

Brown turkey completely in large pot. Add beans, mushrooms, and onion. If you didn't buy an onion on the way home from work, then you're out of luck -- do without. Add tomato sauce until the consistency looks pretty close to what you wanted, but you'll want to be a bit runnier at first. Cook at a temperature that doesn't make the mixture bubble and pop all over the stove, yet still makes it hot. Add spices and stir until it smells like chili. If you want to throw in some other spices just for fun (cinnamon in very small doses is kind of cool, as is cilantro), go right ahead -- it's your chili. Cover and let simmer for a while. Stir occasionally. Watch the Cartoon Network or the SciFi Channel while stirring. Serve with crackers and cheese, or just crackers, or just cheese, or neither. Like I said, it's your chili. (Recommended Beverage: Killian’s Red or Canada Dry Diet Ginger Ale)

Teal'c Is in the House

I saw this at the grocery a couple of weeks ago. Indeed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Night of Vivid Dreams

For those of you that wonder, I ate homemade turkey chili, the recipe for which I will post tomorrow. We also had salad, and I ate a few pieces of frozen peach.

My dreams started off at work. It's too bad I don't get paid for time spent dreaming about work. That would be a sweet gig. Anyway, the lighting was poor - sodium vapor lamps - and everyone was stressed out. My grandboss kept flickering in and out of sight, which made everyone frightened. He seemed pretty draconic, but there was another Big Bad out there.

A few minutes later, I was in a big box store, and I saw a young man pushing a cart erratically through the aisles. He was slurring his words badly, but I heard him say, "Dying." Then he collapsed. I noticed that his cart had an infant in it. Also in the cart were three faces that I somehow knew had been conjoined siblings that the young man had removed from his own body. I pulled the man and the cart to the nurse's station, but I don't know what happened after the medical personnel took over.

I think it would be cool if my dreams had a musical soundtrack.

Markdown Markup Muckup

Here's a picture of a sign at a Sony store. Notice how the HTML-like markup isn't quite doing the trick.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Foto Phriday - Late Submission

Here's a fencepost with some kind of vine on it that has grown to look sort of like an animal head. We found it while we were out geocaching with some friends.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Funny Award

This place won "Best of the Sausage Fest" award.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele may have suffered brain damage when he pulled his head out of Rush Limbaugh's ample backside. It made a loud "plop" noise.

Your Favorite Schoolhouse

Son's school did performances of Schoolhouse Rock Live Junior this weekend. On Friday night, Son was in the chorus, but since the teacher made the odd arrangement of letting the chorus kids decide to be in one, the other, or both of the performances, most kids opted for Friday night, which made the Saturday performance a little short on kids. It was still a really good time, though.

There was a need for stagehands, so Son was faced with the choice of being the only boy in the chorus and having to sing the male part extra loud with his new dental appliance in that gives him Nerd Voice, or choosing to spend the time backstage with a couple of other kids messing around with the props. It wasn't really a choice at all.

After the performance, we all (Eggbert, Marcot, Mandy and Mr. Mandy, Geekina and Baldo McNerdy, GPop, Son, and I) went to O'Charley's. GPop's and Marcot's hot sandwiches were served cold. It took more than an hour to get our food. This is consistent with my other experiences at O'Charley's.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cranial Hyperossification on Kindle

If you have a Kindle, you may want to subscribe to Cranial Hyperossification here. Give it a shot and tell me how it works out.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Yesterday was my late day. Thursday is the day that GPop has to go to work early, so I take care of making sure Son gets on the bus. Son and I have gotten into a routine, on Thursdays, of going to Tim Horton's for breakfast, then driving to school. It works out, because I miss some of the most heavily blocked areas of the highway system, and we get to have breakfast together.

On this particular Thursday, Son was running a bit later than usual for one reason or another. Once I got him in the car, I noticed the tell-tale sign that he hadn't brushed his teeth. His breath could have knocked over a yak at ten paces. He was trying to argue that rinsing his mouth with mouthwash was equivalent to brushing his teeth, especially since we hadn't eaten breakfast yet. I had to invoke the "No Buts" card. Fortunately, I had an extra new toothbrush in the car for such emergencies, so we were able to get his teeth brushed after breakfast.

When we got to Tim Horton's, the solid rain suddenly turned into a torrential downpour. Nice try, Universe, but I have big umbrellas in my car. You can't wear me down with your perversity.

The line seemed a bit longer than usual, but it wasn't too bad. There were some high school students getting coffee (scandalous) and a woman with three elementary school aged kids in tow behind them. I sent Son with the wet umbrella to find a nice seat. He told me that he wanted a #2 combo with egg and cheese only on the sandwich, a long john doughnut, and a small milk.

The high schoolers were just finishing up when I approached the line. The woman stepped up to the register. She embarked on a doughnut-related journey that took easily five minutes to describe. "I'd like three dozen doughnuts. Some of these will be to go, but some will be for here. In the first box, I'd like two cranberry crullers, one sour cream glazed, one chocolate...."

I checked my watch. Normally, I like to get there early. Son and GPop sometimes have their own jaunts to Tim's before school, and they think it's perfectly dandy to arrive at school thirty seconds before the bell rings. I guess this dichotomy is pretty common.

"...and then I'd like three boxes of TimBits. Just mix together the chocolate and the regular. But make sure the bigger box has more regular than chocolate. The smaller boxes don't matter as much..."

I started to get a little anxious. At least she was ordering for the kids. This wasn't going to take too long, was it?

"...and that's it for me. Kids, now you get to order."

My shoulders slumped. The dread god Finagle and his mad prophet Murphy were at it again. Of course, the three kids had spent at least five minutes in line staring at the doughnut case and the big pictures on the menu, so they knew exactly what they wanted, right? Ha!

"Um... I'd like... ummmm... a doughnut.... I mean this kind...."

And so on. The smallest child even had to whisper her order to the woman, because the little girl was too shy to talk to the big, scary cashier.

Finally, I got to the counter. "I'd like a #2 combo with egg and cheese only on the sandwich, a long john doughnut, and a small milk, and for me, I'd like a large coffee and a sesame seed bagel toasted with peanut butter and jelly on the side." I knew something was amiss when the cash register started at $24.58 and went up from there. The cashier started to tell me that I owed her about $35, but then reality set in, and she started frantically mashing the VOID key.

Once she was satisfied that she had cleared out the errors, she said, "That was a number which?"

D_mn you, Murphy! I'm pretty sure that the previous order was never completed, so the woman ended up not paying for anything. Anything out of her five minute order. Or the kids' orders.

I did get my food, but when I opened my bagel wrapper at the table, I saw that someone had smeared cream cheese all over it. Cream cheese and I have an acrimonious relationship. I hate it, and it's not sentient, so it doesn't care about me. I took the bagel back to the counter, but the cashier was gone. Nobody else in line wanted a free bagel with cream cheese, so another employee took it and provided me another one.

I'm late! I'm late for a very important date! No time to say, "Hello." Goodbye! I'm late, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late...

We ate, Son brushed his teeth, and I glared at the woman with the fourteen boxes of doughnuts. We left.

There are five traffic lights between Tim Horton's and Son's school. Wait. Let me rephrase that. There are five RED traffic lights between Tim Horton's and Son's school. There's that thirty-seconds-before-the-bell thing again.

I did manage to find my way to my off-site meeting that morning, even if I walked in just as the emcee was introducing the senior VP who was addressing the crowd.

Then, in the afternoon, our management treated us to a baseball game for our local AAA team in their new stadium. We had lunch and such in the corporate suite.

At one point, Scott, who was sitting behind me, noticed a distinct lack of something at this ball game. "Hey! Where's the peanuts?"

I started to giggle. Terry, who was sitting next to me, asked me what was so funny. I looked back at Scott and asked what he wanted. He told me that he didn't see any peanuts. I looked at Terry, grinned, and told her, "Oh... peaNUTS. I thought I heard something different." She laughed.

So I guess it turned out OK, after all.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that en route to my off-site meeting, my "YOU NEED GAS NOW" light came on.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

One of those days...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Our building is getting new carpet. Here's a picture. I think the person who chose it was overcome by the fumes from the carpet adhesive.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vacation Planning

We're looking at planning our vacation right now. Part of it will include GPop's 20-year high school reunion. Boy, I'm looking forward to that.

One of the issues is that we're undergoing a reorganization right now at work, and the boxes on the page versus the people in the group don't match exactly, so it's possible I might be in a position of looking for work by the end of the month. Bleh.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ah, Monday

GPop and I took the day off. We ran some errands and relaxed. It sort of makes me look forward to the day I can stop wearing out my shoes racing against the other rats. My hoped-for worst case scenario is about 9600 more days.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

GPop, Son, and I went to my grandmother's house today. We planted some flowers, trimmed back her lilac bushes, and prepared a small bed for my mom to plant tomatoes next week. On the way home, we hit two more geocaches. Fun!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Four Word Movie Reivew - Star Trek

SPOILER ALERT (highlight to read):

Singularity creates alternate Trek.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Foto Phriday

Cousin Itt resting on a beehive...

Thursday, May 7, 2009


There's a contest called Waist Away at Work, where teams get together to lose weight over eight weeks. I've joined a team. The scale at work marked me 12 pounds heavier than my scale at home. That was not especially encouraging.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Three R$

Our state's school funding isn't exactly working really well. Local ballot initiatives ask for local property taxes to fund the schools. Our Small Town school system hasn't passed a levy for close to ten years, and the system has recently cut just about everything except for oxygen to the classrooms. Last night, a levy passed.

The school system should be able to keep 20 teachers that had been told they would lose their jobs otherwise.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Recent E-Mail Exchange

Coworker: GDad, why did you give away your passes for the early screening of the new Star Trek movie? Didn't you want to go on Wednesday?

GDad: We're not going on Wednesday. The pass is actually one of those "maybe you'll get in/maybe not" kinds of passes, and the show time is supposed to be 7:30. In my experience with such things, that means the movie will start at 8:00 after they bring out some B-list local celebrity with Spock ears who will say something like "May the Force be with you!" Then they will pass out super cheeseball door prizes like a Star Trek poster or a plastic phaser (made in China out of lead and botulism). Once the movie is over, Goober and Jock from the local morning zoo will remind us to fill out our surveys, and be sure to put down our e-mail addresses so they can send us "informative newsletters" about upcoming events. Many of the people there will not have bathed this week, and I won't get home until after my bedtime, which is a time I cherish deeply.

I'll go on Friday. Dressed as Harry Potter.


The chorus in which I used to sing once did a production called When We No Longer Touch: A Cycle of Songs for Survival. It has some of the most beautiful and haunting music I think I've ever heard. It speaks to those who have lost a loved one.

GP, you and your family are in my thoughts.

Lunch Plans

Tee hee...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Yesterday's Celebrities (With HAIR!)

I've obviously been watching too much of "The Smoking Gun Presents: The World's Dumbest..." on TruTV. I had a dream last night that I was hanging out with Leif Garrett - today's Leif Garret, not the one from 1978. It was cool for a while, but then I wanted to leave, and Leif kept trying to get me to stay by playing that "Hey, have you seen...." with old memorabilia. It turns out that his day job now (in my dream) is to examine sites where old refrigeration equipment is stored before it gets scrapped to make sure the refrigerant is disposed of appropriately. I'm not sure where that came from.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Angry Language Guy

Is this a regional difference or a case of cliché decay?

Variant 1:
If he thinks that X, he's got another think coming.

Variant 2:
If he thinks that X, he's got another thing coming.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Processed Meat Product

I recently received some unsolicited commercial e-mail with a subject line that read, "Sprechen vous Italiano?" That cracked me up.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Foto Phriday